Cases Explore the world of Geo-information

Niels Bourgonjen

Mapping out Vlisco’s customers: the optimal site for a new branch

Vlisco is the market leader in designing and selling fabrics with African prints. A couple of years ago, Vlisco decided that it would not only sell fabrics, but that it would also carry a fashion brand and that it would reach consumers directly through physical shops, starting in Paris. Geodan helped Vlisco to decide on the best sites for a Paris-based branch.

For which requirement would this be the solution?

In order to improve its distribution channels, Vlisco wanted to open a physical shop in Europe’s city of fashion: Paris. By gaining an insight into its customers purchasing/buying behaviour, the optimal site for a branch could be determined.

Unique attributes of the solution

  • Combining socio-demographic data with purchasing behaviour provides many interesting new insights.
  • Visual representation of these insights provides a clear picture of a suitable new sales outlet.

How does it work?

Vlisco’s potential customers in Paris are the Africans who live in the city and the African tourists. In addition, there are a number of small shops in Paris that sell Vlisco’s fabrics as wholesale suppliers. Geodan combines socio-demographic data for each borough with purchasing information of Africans in Paris (both tourists and inhabitants) and then visualises this information on a map. This provides a clear picture of the locations where purchases are made, the amounts spent and delivery addresses and it is then possible to ascertain the optimum site for physical shop.

What are the benefits?

Often the site of a new branch is selected based (partially) on gut feeling. By providing a geographic insight into the data about customers and potential customers and then analysing this data, an informed choice can be made about the site of a new branch. Vlisco will also apply this method of searching for consumers in other cities, including in Africa.